Gauge Of U.S. Economy's Future Unchanged In June

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A gauge of the economy's future health was unchanged in June, pointing to modest growth in the coming months.

The Conference Board, a business research group, says its index of leading indicators remained at 95.3 in June. The flat reading followed increases of 0.2 percent in May and 0.8 percent in April.

The longer-term trend has been positive. The index increased 1.7 percent in the first six months of this year. That's better than the 1.1 percent rise in the previous six months.

The index consists of previously released data and is intended to signal economic conditions three to six months out.

Positive trends, such as higher consumer confidence and fewer applications for unemployment benefits, were offset by last month's decline in stock prices and a drop in building permits.

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